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Cleaning Kitchen Items: the Ultimate Guide

March 13, 2022 by emilysmaids

Cleaning Kitchen Items Emilys Maids


Kitchen tools and equipment represent a challenge when it’s time for cleaning and sanitizing. You find that they have residues of food and grease and it’s not fun to waste time and energy scrubbing them until you get rid of them.

Sanitizing is important when you are in direct contact with germs and bacteria. This counts pretty much for every single component in your kitchen, cookware, silverware, dishes, and even cleaning tools.

Let’s find out how you can do it!


Cleaning Your Kitchen: First Steps


Before starting to clean all your cookware, a good rule of thumb is to always leave your cleaning agents to act on the surfaces before doing anything. Hot water always helps whatever cleaning product you choose, whether its dishwashing soap, baking soda, vinegar or any other product.

Always use cleaning gloves to protect your skin from chemicals and friction when scrubbing hard.

As far as cleaning agents, there are many different opinions. Some people feel comfortable using industrial, manufactured kitchen cleaning products. Others prefer eco-friendly alternatives. Others like using “general” chemicals such as baking soda and vinegar.

This last option is a good happy medium because they are cheap, effective, and less contaminating than sprays or specialized cleaning products. Plus, you can use them to clean your entire kitchen without needing to buy 5 or 6 different products.

When looking for dish soap, make sure it contains a degreaser (it’s usually citric acid), a surfactant (e.g., coco glucoside) and a component for killing bacteria (e.g., tea tree oil).

Eco Friendly Dish Soap for Cleaning


Cleaning and Discarding Kitchen Sponges and Towels


First things first: what are you going to use to rub and scrub the food and grease away?

You have so many options! You can either stick to the traditional non-scratch kitchen sponge, or you can use many other tools such as silicone sponges or loofah sponges.

What many people don’t know is how often you should be discarding and cleaning kitchen sponges. According to research, you should discard them at least every 2 weeks. They have the perfect scenario for growing mold and bacteria: an organic source (food residues) and water.

You should clean them in the microwave (always find out if the material is safe to be placed in a microwave) and soak it in water before placing it in the microwave.

On a similar note, your kitchen towels need to be cleaned and disinfected constantly. First, soak them in a pot filled with half a gallon of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Place your towels for 15 minutes and then wash them in the washing machine with a hot water setting. Then, dry using again the highest temperature setting.

Make sure you place them in the dryer as soon as they get out of the washing machine. You don’t want them to stay moist because that’s where bacteria might have an opportunity to grow. You should do this at least once a week to keep them nice and fresh.

Once a month, place them in a large pot of boiling hot water for 5 minutes and add one to two tablespoons of baking soda to kill any remaining bacteria and remove odors.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Sponges and Towels


Pots and Pans


Pots and pans are one of the main sources of conflict here. If they are not good quality (or even if they are) sometimes food can burn and get stuck at the bottom. In the worst-case scenario, you get permanent “burns” and it starts to look awful.

Here’s how you can fix it:

If your cookware is stainless steel, the good news is that you can rub and scrub all you want. Soak your pots in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes and then scrub in a soft, circular motion. To remove odor, you can sprinkle baking soda or pour one or two teaspoons of vinegar in each pot.

If they are burnt, sprinkle baking soda on the burnt area and let it sit for 5 minutes. Grab a piece of steel wool and scrub and use it to scrub everything away. Wash with hot soapy water and then rinse to leave everything clean and shiny.

If they are enamel or iron-cast pans, make sure you don’t use metal sponges or that you don’t scrub too hard. In this case, it might be more helpful to boil water using baking soda or dishwashing soap and then wipe everything with a microfiber cloth.

Pro tip: Always use wooden spoons, and use your phone’s timer app to remember checking your stove once in a while!


Cleaning Kitchen Cutlery and Silverware


Sometimes it’s tricky to clean cutlery and silverware. If you don’t take care of them they will start looking dull and showing water spots. For cleaning your silver and stainless steel utensils, mix baking soda and dish soap until you form a paste.

Use a soft toothbrush or nylon scrubber in a soft, circular motion. Rinse with plenty of water and you will have squeaky clean utensils!

If you want a deep cleaning that removes streaks as well, you will need some tin foil and vinegar as well as more baking soda.

Just lay a sheet of tin foil in your sink, shiny side up. Place all your cutlery and silverware and sprinkle baking soda until they are covered. Then, add a cup of vinegar and see the magic! Vinegar and baking soda react when they come into contact, causing bubbles. It’s perfectly safe so there’s no need to worry. Once this happens, wait 5 minutes and pour boiling hot water to reactivate them. Scrub everything out with a soft brush to remove any residues and then rinse with plenty of water.

Pro tip: Beware of peanut (or any kind of nut) butter! They tend to stick really hard and it doesn’t come off in the dishwasher.

Cleaning Cutlery and Silverware


Doing the Dishes: Cleaning Smarter, Not Harder


Whether you are cleaning by hand or using the dishwasher, it’s important to take the time off to get rid of the worst. Using hot water will do 50% of the job. It helps to soften everything that has been stuck, especially greasy food. Use a rubber spatula or a non-scratch sponge. As mentioned above, give the dish soap some time to react. Dish detergents have a component called surfactants, which are the ones that separate grease from everything else.

If you leave your dishes in soapy water for 5 to 10 minutes, it will be much faster and easier to clean them.

Remember to tackle your dishes in the first 12 hours. After that, the food scraps will stick even harder because moisture will evaporate by that time. The only thing left will be hard, thick pieces of food that will demand extra energy to remove. Plus, by leaving dirty dishes for so long you might be attracting unwanted guests which is the last thing you want.

Related: How to Clean Major Appliances

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Dishwasher


Dishwashers make our lives easier by removing the stress of scrubbing and rinsing dishes for hours. But sometimes, it needs some cleaning too! With time, it will gather food and grease residues. Most models come with two filters: a flat, mesh filter and then a cylinder filter underneath that one. They are both located at the bottom of the dishwasher.

The good news is that they can be cleaned usually with a few, simple ingredients. You will only need soapy water, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and baking soda.

Where to start? You need to pay special attention to the filter because it’s where all the big residues are gathering with time. To clean your clogged drain filter, start by removing the screen filer and the cylindrical filter. With hot soapy water, remove all debris with the help of an old toothbrush. Scrub softly to avoid damaging the mesh.

Next, it’s time to clean the insides of the dishwasher. Because the residues are often stuck to the surfaces and they’re not quite visible, more like a layer, they need to be softened up beforehand.

Here’s where vinegar and baking soda come into consideration. To remove bacteria and mold, start by removing all racks. Mix half a cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of hot water. Use a spray bottle to apply this mix to all surfaces and then scrub using a large kitchen brush.

Clean your racks by placing them in hot water and then scrub carefully if you see any residues of grease or food. Rinse with plenty of water and put them back on your dishwasher.

Now it’s the time for the deep cleaning. Run two cycles with your dishwasher. For the first one, place one cup of white vinegar on the top rack. Choose the longest time and the hottest temperature setting. Vinegar will help to soften up everything that’s building up and it will fall naturally to the floor of the dishwasher.

For the second one, sprinkle baking soda on the dishwasher floor. Choose the highest temperature setting again, but this time with a short cycle. Scrub anything that you feel like won’t come out easily with an old toothbrush and voilĂ !

You should clean the gasket seal regularly too. Mold starts growing in wet, dark areas with high humidity. If you live in Dallas, you’ve probably seen that mold and mildew grow faster during winter. This is because the Sun isn’t up as much as during summer and humidity increases.

This is all around the dishwasher door and it’s what helps water stay inside it when it’s on. Just wipe all around the seal with a damp, microfiber cloth. Use your old toothbrush with soapy water to scrub everything out. Spray hydrogen peroxide and let dry. Hydrogen peroxide is able to clean mold on many different surfaces.

Cleaning and sanitizing dishwasher


Conclusion


There you have it! Now you have all the secrets for cleaning your kitchen cookware, from utensils to pans and pots and dishes. Even cleaning your dishwasher comes with its own instructions.

Remember to plan out your cleaning routine to ensure that you are working smarter and not harder. Soak as many items as possible in hot soapy water to avoid having to scrub for hours. Choose the best cleaning tools and replace them regularly to avoid mold and bacteria growth.

And as always, make sure you check our booking page if you want a professional cleaning staff to take care of your home.

List of Free and Useful Stuff Online

March 10, 2022 by emilysmaids

This is not the usual post about house cleaning tips or Emily’s Maids news. Rather, this is more a selfish reference post on some amazing and useful stuff that is available online that I can come back and use when needed.

  • Photopea is a completely free and online Photoshop clone. No installation needed. Opens and saves .psd files. Super useful. For more technical questions about Photopea, please visit the dedicated sub https://www.reddit.com/r/photopea/
  • remove.bg removes the background in any photo.
  • libgen.rs has any book you want for free.
  • Free Music Archive has a ton of royalty free music, and lists what kind of copyright license each one is under.
  • edx.org has free online classes from over 100 leading institutions worldwide. “As a mission-driven organization, we’re relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location.”
  • Bitwarden is a free password manager to manage multiple passwords.

For a more comprehensive list of free an useful stuff you can find online, click here.

9 Fruits and Vegetables That are Awesome for Cleaning

February 9, 2022 by emilysmaids

9 Fruits and Vegetables That Are Awesome For Cleaning - Emilys Maids


Fruits and vegetables are a fundamental part of our diet and believe it or not, also great for cleaning! As an ingredient, not only they’re filled with hundreds of nutrients, but they’re also delicious and can be used for any type of dish you can think of.

But beyond that, they’re also good as cleaning items. In fact, many of them are used as part of manufactured cleaning products, for areas as diverse as sanitizing, degreasing, and deodorizing.

This means that you can create your own DIY cleaning products that are effective, quick and cheap and, most importantly, safe to use around you and your family. You can even use different fruits and vegetables and mix them for better results. Of course, remember to try them first in a small, hidden area before going all in.

Without further ado, let’s find out 10 fruits and vegetables that also double up as cleaning agents!


Lemon: An All-Purpose Cleaner


Lemon is at the top of the list and they’re all good reasons. If you’ve read our guide about Cleaning With Essential Oils you already know what lemon is capable of. Lemon is also found in most cleaning products thanks to its degreasing properties. The active cleaning component in lemon and other citrus fruits is citric acid. Acidic compounds are common as cleaning agents because they’re able to remove stains and grease.

You can use both the peel and the juice for different purposes. For example, to remove odor and grime from your microwave you can use half a cup of water alongside 1 lemon cut in half. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it for 3 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes without opening the microwave to let all the steam loosen food junk.

Remove the bowl and the turntable and wipe everything out with a microfiber cloth. If necessary, damp your cloth in the lemon juice water mix and scrub your microwave to remove stubborn stains.

As always, try any DIY cleaning product, especially acidic elements such as lemon, in a small, inconspicuous place. Remember that natural stones (granite and marble for example) do not get along with acidic elements.

Lemon can be used for cleaning wood, too. If you mix two teaspoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice you will obtain a DIY cleaner that works as a disinfectant, stain remover and conditioner for your wooden surfaces. You can use apply it with a microfiber cloth, wiping the excess with a clean, fresh cloth.

You may also use lemon as a sink cleaner, by dipping half a lemon in salt you can remove rust stains in your sink area. The combination of citric acid and kosher salt will absorb the rust and your sink will look brand new. 

Using Lemon for Cleaning


Walnuts: a Quick Wood Polisher and Stain Remover


Walnuts are the fruits of a walnut tree. This is actually a surprising agent for many people. Perhaps because of its size or the fact that we don’t extract juice from it as easily as a lemon, for example. But the truth is that you can use it for wood polishing.

They’re delicious as a snack and now, you can try them as wood polisher! As we know, wood sometimes gets scratched and they don’t look pretty.

To fix this, simply peel one or two walnuts and scrub them onto the scratch you want to remove. With friction, walnuts will release oil that will “attach” to the surface and that will even out its color until it’s gone. Keep in mind this will only work for small to medium-sized scratches, but even if the scratch seems big to you, you don’t lose anything by trying!


Apple Cider Vinegar: The Best Floor Cleaner


Apples, or more specifically, apple cider vinegar, is a great cleaning agent. White distilled vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent, and apple cider is no different. They can be used interchangeably most times, with some exceptions. For example, light-colored leather is going to be cleaned more safely using white vinegar, while apple cider vinegar is safer to use with dark-colored leather.

Apple cider vinegar can be combined with other cleaning products to create an effective cleaning mix.

It can be used straight or diluted with water, too. For example, you can use it for cleaning wooden and ceramic floors.

Using Apple For Cleaning


Orange Peels: A Different All-Purpose Cleaner


Like lemon, oranges are popular as a cleaning agent. Many cleaning products come with an orange scent if you think about it.

The best part is that you can use orange peels instead of throwing them away, so you really get to use every part of the orange.

It’s super quick and easy to prepare! It will take some time for the mix to “settle” down, though. You will just need a large mason jar and some vinegar, as well as a glass spray bottle. Just fill the mason jar (at least) halfway with orange peels, and fill the rest with either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Close the lid and let it sit for 2 weeks. The vinegar will extract oil from the oranges which will add to its cleaning power and fragrance. After at least 2 weeks, strain the vinegar using a fine-mesh sieve. Do this until you remove all orange peels and dilute your vinegar/orange mix with equal amounts of water before placing it on a spray bottle.

Remember to store it in a dark, cool place before straining out the peels. You can add a few drops of rosemary essential oil which work great with vinegar and will add extra fragrance.

Using Orange For Cleaning


Cucumber: The Ultimate Steel Polish


You’ve probably heard about cucumber as a great ingredient for salads, but also great for skin care. And now, you can use them as a DIY cleaning product too!

Cucumber is full of vitamins and minerals and it can work for removing tarnish from stainless steel. Just grab a slice of a cucumber and rub it against the stainless steel surface. You can use this for cleaning appliances, for example. Remember to follow the direction of the grain whenever you’re cleaning stainless steel.


Grapefruit: A Cookware And Appliance Degreaser


Just like lemon and oranges, grapefruit is used constantly as a cleaning product or scent.

Grapefruit can be used for restoring your cookware. Just grab a grapefruit, cut it in half and rub it over your pots or pans. Wipe with a dry washcloth and it will look nice and shiny. You can remove mold and mildew with it, too.

Just mix one cup of vinegar, ½ cup of sodium borate powder (borax) and ½ cup of grapefruit juice. Here you’re combining sanitizing, anti-bacterial and degreasing properties into a single spray bottle. Just apply and wipe away after 15 minutes with a clean sponge.

Similar to lemon, you can also dip half a grapefruit and dip it into salt. This will lift grease from fixtures and appliances. It is especially helpful for your oven, and you can replace the conventional oven cleaner which is full of harmful chemicals. This trick will remove grease and offer a pleasant citrus fragrance.

Grapefruit for Cleaning


Banana: A Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Polish


If you don’t have walnuts, you can use a much cheaper alternative: banana peels! This will be able to remove dust and shine wooden surfaces. 

If you have overripe bananas, instead of throwing them out you can use them as wood polish. You just need to take the peel off and scrub the banana against the surface. After 10 minutes, you can wipe it out with a microfiber cloth. Your wooden furniture will look nice and shiny.


Potato: Say Goodbye to Rusty Silver and Iron


Who would’ve thought that potatoes are good for cleaning?! Well, the truth is that potatoes contain something called oxalic acid, which is capable of removing rust from silver and iron cookware. They can get rusty because of different reasons. One of them is just by using them or, more exactly, washing them. With time, water will cause them to rust.

On a similar note, if you leave them soaked in water for too long, it will speed up the process. Another common cause is the place you live, because this sets the humidity levels for that place. For example, if you live in Dallas, you might have high levels of humidity on certain times of the year, which means that the air carries more water particles. You tend to find rusty appliances and cookware near places with high humidity.

If you have an iron cast skillet or a silver pan that is looking tarnished or rusty, you can cut a potato in half and dip the cut end in baking soda (just like you would with lemon or grapefruit and salt) and rub it against the rusty areas. You might want to slice it off a bit once the cut end of the potato gets slick or slimy, and repeat the process until you remove the rust. Remember to wipe with a microfiber cloth and let it dry. 

If you broke a glass or a mug, you might have trouble collecting shards of glass. In this case, a potato can save your day! Just take half a raw potato and run it over the glass shards. Don’t forget to use thick safety gloves.


Garlic: Keep Your Toilet Spotless


What is garlic in the first place? Well, the truth is that garlic is in fact a vegetable, which belongs to the onion family.

You might not think of garlic as an ingredient that can be related to cleaning. Even though it is a must-have ingredient for the most essential food recipes you can think of, its smell and taste is not traditionally related to something “fresh” or “sanitized”.

Garlic has been proven to have antimicrobial properties thanks to a compound called Allicin, according to research. And what better way to use this than to clean your toilet?

For obvious reasons, toilets are constantly filled with bacteria, and they are one of the fixtures that require the most attention.

Here’s how you can make good use of garlic: crush one medium-sized clove or two small cloves of garlic and leave them in the toilet right before you go to sleep. You usually don’t use your toilet after you’ve gone to sleep so there’s a big time window for garlic to act upon the surface. When you wake up just flush the toilet and the garlic will be gone.

The second strategy requires just a little bit more effort. But don’t worry, it’s super fast and easy! It consists of preparing garlic tea. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a pan. Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic and place them on your pan.

Using Garlic For Cleaning


Conclusion


There you have it! You have probably heard of these fruits and vegetables as cleaning products previously, but a few of them might’ve caught you by surprise!

As always, remember to test your DIY cleaning solutions on a small, hidden area first. And if you prefer to stick to the basics, you can always hire a professional cleaning service for taking care of your home.

The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home (Part II)

January 14, 2022 by emilysmaids

The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Emilys Maids


Hello! We’re back with Part II of our previous article: The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home.

There’s still a lot to unpack about essential oils! There are so many of them with individual properties, many of them related to cleaning and wellbeing.

Last time, we discussed what are essential oils and we talked about four of them: lemon, lavender, tea tree and peppermint. Now, keep reading to find out even more essential oils and how to use them for cleaning.


Essential Oils: A Quick Recap


In our previous article, we mentioned the meaning of essential oils and their properties. Just as a quick recap, it’s worth mentioning that essential oils come from either organic or synthetic sources, and that organic essential oils preserve many natural properties from fruits or plants, including cleaning, degreasing, sanitizing and relaxing properties. They’re also safe to use on most surfaces and materials, which is important to preserve your belongings.

There are endless options that you can mix and match. You already read the benefits of 4 types of essential oils: lemon, lavender, tea tree and peppermint. Now we have 6 more types to talk about: Eucalyptus, Pine, Wild Orange, Thieves, Cedarwood and Grapefruit.

Essential Oils for Cleaning Quick Recap


Eucalyptus Essential Oil


Eucalyptus is a plant native to Australia. You might know them for being the main source of food for koalas. It is heavily used in the personal care industry, in everything from face scrubs to toothpaste and, of course, cleaning.

Here are some examples of eucalyptus as a cleaning agent:

You can use it as a fabric freshener, not only to give your clothes a rich, pleasant fragrance but also to remove microbes. You can use it when doing laundry: during your washing cycle, add about 10 drops with your detergent.

Warning: like many other essential oils, eucalyptus is not safe for pets, especially for cats. Keep that in mind if you’re a pet owner. And, of course, you shouldn’t ingest it either.

It is also a great bathroom cleaner, especially for the shower because it helps removing scum. Just add a few drops in a spray bottle, with a cup of hot water.

Before leaving your bathroom, take the opportunity to clean your brushes too! The recipe is actually very similar: place in a mason jar half cup of distilled white vinegar, one and a half cups of water and 20 drops of eucalyptus oil. your glass jar should be big enough to fit all your combs and hairbrushes, so you can soak them for 20 minutes and then rinse them with plenty of water.

Read more: How to Clean Your Bathroom Step by Step

Eucalyptus Essential Oil


Pine Essential Oil


Pine oil is extracted from pine tree needles and it comes with a handful of properties. Besides its refreshing and uplifting smell, it’s often used for medicine and aromatherapy. It is also very popular as a deodorizer, that’s why pine fragrance is one of the most common to find in every household.

Talking about deodorizing, you can use it as an air freshener by using an oil diffuser with a few drops of pine oil, about 2-3. Let it run for 30 minutes: the air will smell great and your nasal/sinus congestion will be cleared.

You can use pine oil for removing that unpleasant smell from your trash cans.

Pine oil is also useful as a furniture and upholstery cleaner. You just need to add 10 drops of pine essential oil and one tablespoon of liquid castile soap to 1 ½ cups of warm water, mixing everything out in a spray bottle and applying it on the surface. Use with either a mop or a microfiber cloth, depending on the surface.

Remember to dust and vacuum before using the cleaner, and to shake well before each use.

If you want more advice on how to clean your couch, you can read our entire guide here.

Pine Essential Oil


Wild Orange Essential Oil


Wild Orange oil comes from the rind of wild oranges and, as you can imagine, citrus essential oils such as lime, lemon and wild orange bring a fruity, fresh scent.

Mix a ÂĽ cup of olive oil and 10 drops of wild orange essential oil. Nothing works better for wooden furniture than a fresh, citrus scent.

Similar to pine oil, you can add 3 to 4 drops to a diffuser. It is ideal during cold and flu season because, as you know, citrus fruits boost our immune system, according to research.

Related: 10 Creative Ways to Use Lemon for Cleaning

Wild Orange Essential Oil


Thieves Essential Oil


Thieves oil is one of the few oils that is not extracted from a single plant or fruit. In fact, it is a blend of different essential oils; mostly cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary. Thanks to this, not only it offers an incredible fragrance, but it also combines properties from these five components; being able to relieve congestion, manage stress and purify the air. You may know it as Guardian oil or Health Shield oil, too

Thieves oil can make a great all-purpose cleaner when mixed with castile soap, similar to pine oil.

First, you need to create your thieves’ oil. Grab cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary essential oils and mix 10 drops of each into a small glass container.

Now, for your DIY cleaner, you’ll need castile soap, witch hazel and a bit of distilled or filtered water, as well as a glass spray bottle as a container. Place 2 tablespoons of castile soap and 1 tablespoon of witch hazel into your spray bottle using a funnel. With a dropper, add 20 drops of thieves oil.

Fill the rest of the container with water and shake well before each use. You can add 15 drops of lemon essential oil to increase its degreasing power. There you have it! An easy, cheap and chemical-free cleaner.


Cedarwood Essential Oil


Cedarwood oil comes from several types of cedar trees. In fact, it can come from Texas cedar trees. As you can imagine, it has a woodsy, earthy fragrance. It is an excellent odor neutralizer.

You can use it to remove unpleasant odors from your trash can. Just add a few drops to a cotton ball and place it at the bottom.

Of course, it’s only natural to think of cedarwood as a floor cleaner, especially if you have hardwood floors. You can create your very own floor cleaner with ½ cup white of distilled vinegar and ½ teaspoon of cedarwood oil. Just pour them into a bucket filled with 1 gallon of warm water and use a mop for cleaning your floors after sweeping and vacuuming. As always, test first on a small, inconspicuous area before doing your entire floor.

This is also a great flea & tick spray killer for dogs! Cedarwood is one of the few oils that are safe to use on dogs (even though they might find the smell a bit overwhelming), as long as they’re properly diluted. Just add about 3-5 drops and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Shake well and apply to your dog’s coat. Always consult your vet before applying anything to your pets.

Cedarwood Essential Oil


Grapefruit Essential Oil


Grapefruit oil also offers antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Similar to Wild Orange oil, it is extracted from the peels of grapefruit.

You can use this for cleaning your bathtub and shower. Mix one cup of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of grapefruit oil. Rinse your tub and shower and sprinkle your grapefruit cleaning mix. You already know that baking soda is perfect for combining with many other cleaning agents and it comes with deodorizing and degreasing power.

Don’t leave your bathroom yet! You can mix 5 drops of Grapefruit essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle to clean your bathroom surfaces.

Grapefruit Essential Oil and Diffuser


Mix and Match for Better Results


As you know, essential oils are perfect for mix and match. The combination of scents and properties will make you feel great when using them.

For example, pine and orange go great together because they combine the refreshing smell of citrus with a more woodsy, rocky scent. You can add 3 drops of each to an air diffuser and enjoy clean, purified air.

Or you can blend pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus for an incredible combination to use on your wooden furniture. Just imagine the scent it will provide to your bookshelves and nightstands.

And, if you want to try the cedarwood wood floor cleaner, you can use 25 drops of grapefruit oil and 25 drops of cedarwood to add a brand-new scent to your floors.

Remember that, even though you should use glass bottles for storing them, it’s okay to use plastic spray bottles if you’re diluting them in water or other cleaning agents. Always test your DIY cleaning solutions in a small area first and, if you have pets, check if your desired essential oils are safe to use around them.

Mix and Match Essential Oils for Cleaning


Conclusion


There you have it! Even more essential oils with cleaning properties for you to enjoy. Make sure you visit our previous article about essential oils as well, and feel free to mix them with the ones mentioned in this article! After all, essential oils are ideal for blending with infinite possibilities according to your needs.

Not only that, but they are also safe to combine with other cleaning agents such as baking soda and castile soap, offering effective but harmless and chemical-free cleaning solutions.

And even though it’s fun to mix and try as many essential oils as you can, the actual cleaning process might be exhausting or time-consuming. Remember you can always hire a cleaning service to take care of your household while you spend quality time with your loved ones.

Cleaning and Decluttering for the Holidays: An Easy Guide

December 25, 2021 by emilysmaids

Cleaning and Declutering for the holidays an easy guide - Emily's Maids


The holiday season is here! This is an amazing opportunity to start the new year with the right foot, and what better way than by cleaning and decluttering your home?

If you’ve kept your home cleaned and organized throughout the entire year, you probably have a very organized cleaning/decluttering system by now. However, things tend to go a little crazy during Christmas and new year’s eve.

And if you don’t plan on hiring a professional cleaning service, you can put your effort during this time of the year into keeping up with your cleaning and organizing. A good way to motivate yourself is to think of the results: it might take you some effort and time, but by the end your home will be nice and clean and you’ll get to keep your most appreciated and useful belongings.

So, without further ado, let’s start our holiday cleaning and decluttering time!


One Side of the Coin: Decluttering and Organizing


If you’ve read our article about Organizing vs Cleaning, you already know by now that both of them are super important for keeping your home nice and tidy and also to improve your wellbeing.

They’re two sides to the same coin. A house with too much stuff can become overwhelming because no matter what you do, there’s always something out of place. For having an organized home, it is recommended to have a designated place for everything. That becomes harder and harder with more items.

The question is: how much stuff is “too much stuff”?

According to the L.A. Times, there are 300,000 items in the average American home. There’s no easy way to say how many items are in your home, or what even constitutes an “item”, but what we do have to consider is that it’s not unusual to continue buying stuff, but we don’t get rid of old stuff as fast.

A good rule of thumb is to think about everything you haven’t used for over 6 months. Maybe it’s just not worth the space that is occupying right now at home. Nothing should sit in your home long enough to collect dust, for example.

This is easier said than done, of course! It’s hard because not only it is a long, time-consuming process, but it is also attached to getting rid of sentimental items, fighting nostalgia and over-attachment.

This is why you should follow a system, a method that’s been proven to be effective. There are many organizing and decluttering methods, such as the konmari method by Marie Kondo or the 20-minute method.

You can always adapt them to your personal circumstances, but try to stick to the original methods as much as possible so they can work properly.

Decluttering and Organizing


The Other Side of the Coin: Cleaning


The other side of the coin is cleaning, of course. Even if you manage to reduce the amount of stuff you have, they still need to be cleaned. The worst part is, unlike organizing, you also need to clean floors, walls, windows and other “permanent” items at home.

By now, we all know how important is to keep our home clean and sanitized.

On top of that, you have the holiday season and are probably expecting guests. You already know there’s going to be a lot of cleaning involved so your home can look nice and clean and your guests feel comfortable and have a great time.

With that in mind, it’s always best to organize/declutter and then clean. This is because you’re probably getting rid of a lot of stuff, that won’t even need to be cleaned in the first place. Once everything is in its right place, it will be easier to clean everything out.

Cleaning Supplies - Emily's Maids


How to start Organizing and Decluttering for the Holidays


December and January are a good opportunity for decluttering your home. Maybe you have a couple days off from work and you can take this chance to go through what needs to be organized and decluttered (besides spending quality time with your family, of course!).

Also, because this is a particular time, you might need a special approach in order to keep your guest bedroom empty and adapted to your guests for the holidays, for example. Consider you might need to have “extra” items such as seating chairs or tableware, which are otherwise stored during the year.

Keeping in mind everything that your guests will need to make themselves at home, it’s time to start with organizing!

You can follow any methods you’d prefer. It’s best that you do research and even try them in a small space first. You can also mix and match if that’s what works for you.

Depending on the method you prefer, you would organize everything by category (clothing, paperwork, sentimental items, etc.) or by room (kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc.).

For sentimental items, you should do this on your own, unless it’s shared with other family members. This is because if we’ve decided to get rid of something that no longer brings us joy (either by donating, recycling or discarding), it is extremely likely that someone else jumps in and stops us from doing that (again, as long as they’re only sentimental to you).

However, non-sentimental items can become part of a shared activity with family members. Grown adults can take care of common areas(kitchen and living room) as well as documents and paperwork, while kids can organize and declutter their belongings (such as toys and clothing).


Where to Start the Holiday Organizing and Decluttering?


This question is more than valid. Because there’s so much to do, you might not know where to start since everything’s important. Also, this might take you more time than expected so you can never be too sure that you’ll do every single room of your home.

If you’re expecting guests, you might want to start there. Remember to take out your holiday décor and garments, as well as everything your guests will need (extra blankets, bedding, additional seating, toiletries, etc.) and leave enough space in the guest bedroom’s closet and bathroom (if any).

Next, we have public areas. These are important on different levels: if you or your guest are planning on cooking a lot, you need your kitchen to be organized and decluttered so that the cooking process goes by smoothly and efficiently.

Up next is your bathroom and laundry area. Remove any expired or empty cleaning products and refill any personal care items such as shampoo and hand soap.

Don’t forget about your office and paperwork! We tend to save receipts and warranty documents that are no longer useful, and many of them can be saved in a digital format, thus reducing the physical space that they require.

Last but not least, your bedrooms. You can remove any clothing that doesn’t fit you anymore and decide whether you want it to donate, discard or recycle.


Next Step: Cleaning for the Holidays


Now, cleaning for the holidays is very similar to a regular cleaning process. Remember to break this into smaller steps if you want to succeed and keep yourself

You do need to consider some “extra” cleaning tasks, such as cleaning inside cabinets and drawers, mopping and vacuuming your furniture, and giving your guest bedroom and bathroom a good rundown.

In the kitchen, pay special attention to the fridge and appliances such as the oven and the microwave. Clean them inside out

In the living area, remember to vacuum and/or wash your furniture, including your throw pillows and throw blankets. Clean every single knickknack that you have as well.

Your bathrooms deserve a good rundown, too! Because this is more of a deep cleaning, you should pay extra attention to the mirrors, your fixtures and any other items such as sink cabinets and toiletries, as well as doorframes and doorknobs. Spray down the shower screen or wash your shower curtains to avoid mold and soap scum stains.

Deodorize and ventilate properly your closet. You can use coffee grounds or chalk and save it in a glass jar with holes on the lids, to remove the typical “musky” closet odor.

Don’t forget to clean upper and lower corners between walls and the floor or the ceiling. They are often overlooked when cleaning. You can give it a nice “Christmas” touch by using a special fragrance when mopping your floors, for example.

Cleaning Bottles

 


How to Keep a Schedule / Checklist for Holiday Cleaning and Organizing


Because this is a lot of work, it can become overwhelming and you might not have that much time available. Between running errands, preparing your Christmas and New Year’s Eve meals and enjoying time with friends and family, you have very little time.

Whenever you have a big assignment or task,  it’s a good idea to split this into smaller tasks. It will give you a sense of achievement once you start checking things off of your list. Plus, it will be easier to accomplish everything when it’s written down, because a) you won’t have to remember everything you need to do and b) the plan is already set and you just need to follow it.

Organizing Agenda

 


Conclusion


There you have it! Start as soon as possible with your decluttering and organizing, and end things up with a nice deep cleaning.

Before doing so, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to spend this time with your loved ones. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Our Two Newest Dallas Cleaning Artists Need Work!

December 7, 2021 by emilysmaids

Hey!

Here’s the deal. Silvia and Jenny are our newest cleaning artists. This team has proven themselves in training and are now in need of work! They have openings this Thursday and Friday only, Dec 9th and 10th.

They are not only hard workers, they’re good people. I need to take care of talent like this. So, I’m offering you a special deal for service booked for this week only.

Get $100 OFF by ordering $400 or more in house cleaning.

Get $50 OFF by ordering $200 – $399.

Get $25 OFF by ordering $100 – $199.

 

Emily's Maids logo and phone numberAnd let’s sweeten the deal…

If you schedule Silvia and Jenny for bi-weekly or weekly service, you will get an additional 5% OFF Weekly or Bi-weekly Service For LIFE!! That’s on top of our already discounted rates of 20% (weekly) and 15% (bi-weekly).

CALL (214) 556-6243 or email service@emilysmaids.com, mentioning this email while reserving a spot. This deal is not available when booking online.

This deal is available for any of our cleans:
Standard Cleaning
Deep Cleaning
Move Out Cleaning

You’ll love the work done by this cleaning duo. So reserve your spot before their schedule fills up.

Thank you for giving us a chance to serve you!

~ Emily’s Maids Happiness Team
(214) 556-MAID
www.emilysmaids.com

 

* Only available if you schedule team Silvia and Jenny.
* Special is only for service scheduled December 9th and 10th, 2022.
* Only 6 spots left so order now!

The Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home – Part I

November 30, 2021 by emilysmaids

The Best Essential Oils For Cleaning Your Home

 


Who doesn’t love essential oils? These tiny containers can enhance your experience in any room of your home and allow you to relax and enjoy a fresh, clean and calming scent.

But did you know that they’re also useful for cleaning? Well, they are! If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Most essential oils come from organic sources such as plants and fruits which, as we know, offer cleaning and sanitizing properties.

The best part is that you can use them on their own, or you can add more ingredients to create the perfect cleaning mix for different uses around your household. And on top of that, you get a home that smells great all the time.

Without further ado, let’s read some tips on how to use essential oils for cleaning!


What Are Essential Oils?


Essential oils are oils that come from either organic sources or synthetic sources. You can use synthetic oils mostly as fragrance, but organic oils preserve natural properties, or at least most of them.

As you know, fruits and plants can offer hundreds of properties, such as the ability to clean, disinfect, degrease, sanitize and stop bacterial and mold growth. Besides, a nice fragrance can be soothing, invigorating and capable of improving your mood and wellbeing.

If you live in a humid state such as Dallas, you might need to clean constantly to avoid bacteria and mold, especially around humid places. Even though commercial cleaners are effective, sometimes they come with downsides: they can be dangerous to you or your kids, they can also be too aggressive on your materials and surfaces, and most of them are not eco-friendly.

When Not to Use Essential Oil for Cleaning


Lemon Essential Oil


Lemon is by far one of the best essential oils, especially for cleaning. They are extracted from the peel of fresh lemons. They do not contain vitamin C but they do offer many other health and cleaning benefits to your body and household.

On its own, lemon can bring a variety of benefits and that’s why it’s used commonly as an ingredient for manufactured cleaning products. This means that you can use lemon essential oil straight or diluted in water and it’s already an effective cleaner.

For example, you can add 15 drops of lemon essential oil to two cups of water. You’ll have right away an all-purpose surface cleaner! You can use half a cup of vinegar as a plus to maximize its effectiveness. Feel free to change these proportions if you want a stronger or lighter cleaner.


Related: How to Clean Using Vinegar

Lemon oil can become a powerful stain remover as well; you just need to rub some lemon oil onto the

e stain and then wash as usual. Lemon oil is a great degreaser, and therefore able to break down stains with ease. Plus, it is a natural and safe alternative to industrial stain removers.

Now, the best part is that it can be combined with many other products. For example, you can use it along with baking soda to deodorize your fridge.

Start by grabbing two tablespoons of baking soda and about 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Mix them in a saucer plate and place them in your fridge. This mix will absorb odors, as well as add a nice fresh citrus fragrance. They should be replaced every 4 to 5 days.

Lemon essential oil is also a wood cleaner. It needs to be mixed with olive oil, though. You can try mixing a few drops of lemon oil to two tablespoons of olive oil. Apply with a clean microfiber cloth to wood surfaces.


Read more: 10 Creative Ways to Use Lemon For Cleaning

Lemon Essential Oil


Lavender Oil


Lavender oil comes from lavender flowers. It has been used since ancient Egypt: not only because of its sweet, floral fragrance but also for its therapeutic properties.

Its essential oil is well-known for being used during laundry. In fact, many laundry detergents and fabric softeners include lavender oil or fragrance. If you want to try it, just add 5 drops to your laundry detergent measuring cup, right before adding it to your washing machine.

Not only it will leave an incredible perfume, but it will also prevent mold and mildew from building up, which is common in washing machines, especially the front-load ones.

Lavender Essential Oil for Cleaning


Tea Tree Oil


Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil that comes from the Australian tea tree. It is obtained by crushing its leaves, and it offers antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

You can create an all-purpose cleaner with tea tree oil as well. A very simple variant consists of mixing one cup of hot water, ÂĽ cup of vinegar and 8 drops of tea tree oil. This is similar to the lemon essential oil mix, and it works just as nicely with tea tree oil.

It can be helpful to deodorize your garbage bin as well. You can start by cleaning your garbage bin with a one-part vinegar, one-part water mix, and scrubbing with an old sponge. You might need to use a hose for stuck-up grime. If it’s stainless steel, be careful not to let it soak for too long.

Now, here’s when the tea tree oil comes into play. Right before you place a new, clean bag, you can add 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil. its antimicrobial properties will keep bacteria and fungus at bay, which is important around garbage bins.

Melaleuca Oil can be used for cleaning your bathroom, too. Just combine 15 drops of this oil into two cups of hot water, half a cup vinegar, two tablespoons baking soda and one teaspoon of castile soap. This way you’ll getting a mix that is a stain remover, bacteria and mold remover, deodorizer, and degreaser, and with a nice fragrance on top of that!

You can remove mold as well using tea tree oil. Mix two cups of vinegar and two teaspoons of tea tree oil, and apply to moldy areas, letting sit for 15 minutes and scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Then, remove with a microfiber cloth.

Tea Tree Essential Oil


Peppermint Oil


Besides its incredible fragrance, peppermint has antibacterial properties. Research has shown that it can be used for medical reasons and it is also popular as a cleaning agent.

For example, you can use it as a mirror cleaner. Start by mixing 3 cups of distilled water, a quarter of a cup of white vinegar, a quarter of a cup of vodka, and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle, shake and apply over your mirrors. Let sit for 5 minutes and then wipe with a microfiber cloth or a squeegee.

Peppermint can be used for cleaning your hands as well! We all know that washing your hands is super important. However, you also need to exfoliate them properly to remove dead skin cells, as well as bacteria and grease residues.

Here’s the perfect mix for a DIY hand scrub: four tablespoons of raw sugar, four tablespoons of kosher salt, two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon of coconut oil and 5 drops of peppermint oil.

Just mix all ingredients into a glass jar, such as a small mason jar. Keep that on top of your bathroom sink with a small wooden spoon and apply and scrub your hands whenever you need to, rinsing with plenty of cold water afterward.

As you can see, these materials will help you clean, moisturize and exfoliate your hands.

Peppermint Essential Oil


Combine Essential Oils to Maximize Cleaning Effectiveness


If you want to make your own dish soap, you can use the power of citrus essential oil. Mix half a cup of castile soap and 10 drops of lemon oil, lime oil and wild orange oil. Citrus fruits offer a remarkable degreasing power which is exactly what you need for doing the dishes.

An all-purpose cleaner can be created following the vinegar/water mix. Add half a cup of white distilled vinegar to two cups of warm water. Instead of adding 15 drops of a single oil, you can mix and match different oils. For example, you can create a citrus powerhouse with 5 drops of lemon oil, 5 drops of lime and 5 drops of wild orange.

Or you can use peppermint oil with tea tree oil instead to maximize its antibacterial effectiveness!

Bonus tip: always use glass bottles and store them in a dark, dry place! Sunlight can make them expire faster, and glass is strong enough to contain them because plastic can break down due to the oils’ concentration.

Combining Essential Oils for Cleaning


When Not to Use Essential Oil for Cleaning


There are some circumstances where essential oils should not be used, or at the very least, handled with care.

For example, it’s not safe to ingest essential oils. Although organic essential oils come from natural sources such as fruits and plants, they are highly concentrated, and can cause several injuries. Plus, they’re not approved by the FDA.

If you plan to use lemon essential oil as a cleaning agent, remember that pets are very sensitive. You should not use them if you have dogs or cats. The same goes for tea tree oil. Before applying any type of essential oil, check first with your vet to confirm that everything you do is safe for your pet.

Some essential oils are not safe because they come from acidic sources, the best example is lemon oil. In this case, it’s not a good idea to use this type of oil for some surfaces such as natural stone. Remember to do some research on the type of oil and the material you’re using it against.

Remember to always test your cleaning products or agents in a small, hidden place. You can never be too sure about the reaction to another material or surface.

When Not to Use Essential Oils

 


Conclusion


Cleaning oils are an organic, green alternative to commercial cleaners. The best part is that you can combine them with many other cleaning agents to keep your home clean, tidy and with a pleasant fragrance throughout the day.

Keep reading our blog and wait until next week for part II! There are so many more cleaning essential oils to choose from, so don’t miss it out!

And remember, you can always hire a cleaning service to help you out with household chores and enjoy your free time without a care.

10 Creative Ways To Use Lemon For Cleaning

November 11, 2021 by emilysmaids

10 Creative Ways To use Lemon for Cleaning


Lemon as a cleaning agent is so versatile and efficient that you’ll start using it as soon as you read everything it can do.

Besides being a great ingredient for all kinds of recipes, from main dishes to desserts and drinks, lemon is also frequently used as a cleaning component, both in DIY and manufactured cleaning products.

Keep reading to find out more about lemon and how to use it for cleaning your house!


The Natural Cleaning Properties of Lemon


Lemon is a citrus fruit with one of the highest contents of citric acid, which acts as an antibacterial, sanitizer, preservative and deodorizer, according to research.

It is used frequently with hundreds of manufactured cleaning products, such as degreasers, laundry detergent or dish soap.  But it is also a common ingredient for natural, homemade cleaners.

Other studies have shown that it is comparable to vinegar because they are both acids that are capable of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

Thanks to its versatility, it can be combined with so many other ingredients from your kitchen, your pantry or your laundry cabinet. Just plain water is more than enough for a basic cleaner, but baking soda, vinegar and castor oil are also popular options.


Using Lemon as an All-Purpose Surface Cleaner


If you have laminate countertops, you can create a natural mix that works as a surface. This solution is ideal for your kitchen, but it can also work for your bathroom, as long as it’s not granite or marble.

The best part is that you’ll only need a few ingredients that are most likely sitting in your pantry already.

Start by grabbing your ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, hot water and one lemon. Super easy and cheap!

Mix ÂĽ cup white vinegar, 4 cups hot water, the juice of a lemon and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Mix your ingredients and place them in a spray bottle.

Remember, because this is an acid cleaner it won’t work on natural stone or natural hardwood. Always test it first in a small, hidden place.

Lemon DIY Surface Cleaner Spray


Lemon as Odor Neutralizer for the Fridge


Lemon is efficient not only at removing odor, but also leaves a pleasant citrus fragrance afterward.

Therefore, it’s not surprising to find that it also works to remove odors from the fridge, by applying an easy technique. Just cut your lemon in slices and place them on a saucer plate and then place that plate inside your fridge.

This will work for about 5 days until you need to replace them. For better results, add two teaspoons of baking soda to the saucer plate.

If you don’t have lemon at hand, you can also use about 5 to 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil.


Lemon as a Stain Remover and Polish


Citric acid helps to remove stains and polish stainless steel and copper cookware.

For polishing copper pots and pans, mix the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon salt. Stir until the salt dissolves and then use a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge to spread all across your cooking pan or pot. Let sit for a minute and then rinse with plenty of water.

You can dry everything with a different, clean cloth afterward. The same technique can be applied to copper fixtures, as well as stainless steel cookware.

Copper Pots Cleaned with Lemon


Lemon As a Laundry Cleaning Agent


Besides the kitchen or your bathroom, lemon is also effective in the laundry room.

Citric acid can be used to remove stains from different materials and fabrics. You can add half a cup of lemon juice to your wash cycle to ensure your clothes will be fresh and bright after taking them out.

It can be useful as well for removing particular stains, such as the ones caused by deodorant.

Just pour some lemon juice into the stain and place your garment in the sun for 15 minutes. Next, add some table salt and then scrub using a toothbrush. Wash as usual afterward.

Lemon Basket inside a pantry - Emily's Maids


Lemon for Cleaning Your Microwave


You can use it to deodorize your microwave by using lemon slices.

Grab a bowl of water, cut a lemon in slices and place them inside the bowl. After microwaving for 2 minutes, let sit for another 2 minutes without opening the microwave and then wipe as usual. You want to wait a couple of minutes so steam can soften grime and grease on the insides.

The lemon juice will soften the grease and food buildup inside your microwave which can then be easily removed with a microfiber cloth. It will also absorb odors, which is perfect to remove stubborn smells such as popcorn.


Lemon as Essential Oil


Lemon not only works on its own but also as an essential oil.

Besides using them as an all-purpose cleaner, you can clean specific materials and surfaces with lemon essential oil.      For example, you can add a few drops to a microfiber cloth and use that to polish stainless steel.

You can also soak your kitchen sponges in a bowl with warm water and essential oil, to deodorize and sanitize them. Of course, this is not a long-term solution, and you need to make sure to replace them regularly because bacteria builds up with time.

You can use it as an air freshener as well, just by placing around 30 drops inside a spray bottle filled with water and shaking before applying. Because air freshener particles end up on the floor, make sure that your floor is not sensitive to lemon essential oils.

Lemon Essential Oil for Cleaning


Lemon as Wood Polish


Believe it or not, lemon also works as a great wood polish! You might think that such an acid agent can be harmful to your wooden surfaces or items.

Using this mix on hardwood floors is not a good idea, though. Vinegar is too aggressive on hardwood floors, which are already sensitive on their own. But it will work great on wooden furniture and laminate wooden floors.

To create your own DIY wood polish, start by mixing two tablespoons white vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon lemon juice.

For the rest of the surfaces, as always, test first in a small spot and confirm that it’s safe to use before applying on the entire area.

To prepare this great furniture polish, simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a bit of olive oil and apply with a rag to clean, protect, and shine wood finishes.


Lemon and Salt to Clean Your Toilet


No one wants to have a dirty toilet, and it can be so challenging to keep them clean and free of stains and marks.

Just grab half a lemon and squeeze it into the bowl. Sprinkle kosher salt immediately afterward and grab your toilet brush to scrub all across the surface for about 2 minutes.

You’ll notice those stubborn stains being removed slowly. For even higher deodorizing power, start by adding baking soda and let it sit for one or two hours before adding lemon and kosher salt.

Baking soda is already a great deodorizer on its own, and adding lemon will combine the best of both worlds.


Lemon as Descaler for Your Kettle


If you have owned a kettle, you should know by now that they need to be descaled once in a while. This is because, with time, water minerals and other residues remain inside the kettle.

Most coffee machine brands sell their own descaler product, but you can also use lemon as a substitute, and you’ll only need the juice of a lemon and tap water.

Mix 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice and two cups of water. Pour the mix into your kettle and bring it to a boil.

Next, let it cool and discard your cleaning mix. Rinse with plenty of water and scrub inside your kettle as you go, with a soft sponge.


Lemon as Face Cleanser


Lemon is not only a great household cleaning product, but it is also efficient for personal care, particularly for cleansing your face. Its antimicrobial properties will help reduce bacterial growth in your skin, and it will also clear away dead skin residues.

It’s very important that you always seek guidance from your dermatologist before applying any product to your skin.

To create this facial cleanser, just mix two teaspoons honey with one teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Grab some with your fingers and then smooth a thin layer onto your neck and your face. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse with plenty of water.

Lemon and Honey Face Cleanser - Emily's Maids


Where Not to Use Lemon As a Cleaning Agent


As effective as it might be, there are no magic or universal cleaners.

A common mistake, especially around the kitchen, is to try using lemon for cleaning granite or marble countertops. Stone does not get along with acidic materials such as lemon and vinegar. Therefore you should avoid using them as much as possible, and invest in more neutral or specialized cleaning agents.

Remember: each surface and material has specific properties. Always test your cleaning agents in a small, inconspicuous place first.

Electronic screens are a big no-no as well. Laptop and computer monitors, TV Screens and smartphones do not get along with liquids, even more so if it’s an acid.

If you’re planning to use lemon essential oil as a cleaning agent, remember that pets are very sensitive. You should not use them if you have dogs or cats.

Lemon Slices in a Cutting Board - Emily's Maids


Conclusion


Lemon is more than a versatile ingredient. It has a wide variety of properties that can help with different fields regarding cleaning and personal care.

Natural ingredients are taking more and more popularity as cleaning products, and even though lemon has been used in manufactured cleaning agents, they also can be used directly from the source at home.

Feel free to check out the cleaning tips above and use lemon as you’d like to clean floors, surfaces and items.

And even though these tips are effective and easy, cleaning always takes time and energy. If you don’t feel like it, feel free to find more about our professional cleaning service!

Cleaning and Organizing Your Household: An Easy Guide

November 2, 2021 by emilysmaids

Cleaning and Organizing Your Household An Easy Guide


Households require a ton of work if you want them to be tidy and sanitized as long as possible. Let’s find out how to follow through with some cleaning and organizing strategies that will make you work smarter, not harder.


Cleaning For A Better Life


Who doesn’t like a clean, organized home? It doesn’t matter if you’re passionate about cleaning and organizing, or if you’re starting from the bottom and trying to improve your household skills.

The same happens whether you live or how big or small your house is. A big, two-story home in Dallas needs as much cleaning and organizing as a small studio apartment in New York.

If you think about it: they both come with pros and cons: a bigger house requires more items, and that can get out of control. With a smaller home, you can easily think that you have too little space when in reality you just have too much stuff to clean and organize. Keep reading to find some do’s and do’s about these two important tasks: organizing and cleaning.


Do Work Smarter, Not Harder


Cleaning and organizing for endless hours is not the right way to have a tidy, efficiently organized home. In fact, common mistakes are causing you to take extra effort, time, and resources.

Cleaning and organizing “here and there”, without a structure or plan, is not necessarily bad, but it can definitely fall into the “working harder instead of smarter” category. 


Do  a Little Bit Every Day


This is important especially if you’re not used to cleaning that often or as part of your routine. Getting started with that is challenging, and you don’t want to burn out after two days of cleaning non-stop. Instead, what you want to do is create momentum by starting slowly.

It can be as short as 10 minutes a day. It’s not about the outcome today, but more about getting your mind and body used to clean and organize.

Think about it this way: even though it might be tempting to spend all your energy and willpower right away to clean for 6 hours non-stop, this is just a temporary solution because it’s highly likely that you’ll do this once every two to three months.

Instead, if you clean every day for 20 minutes and then, let’s say, 3 hours on the weekend, you’d not only dedicate more time but it is also distributed more efficiently throughout the week.


Do Find an Accountability Partner


If you have problems sticking to a schedule and creating discipline on your own, this can be the perfect solution. An accountability partner is a person that will help you keep track of your habits, in this case, cleaning and/or organizing.

It could be a family member, a close friend, or even an acquaintance. This could be mutual or single-sided, whatever works for you.


Do Find the Perfect Schedule for You


Your agenda is something very personal and it should be adapted towards making your life better. Try different cleaning and organizing routines and see what works best. Perhaps you are in the mood for household chores first time in the morning, or right after lunchtime, or just before you go to sleep.

And unless you hire a cleaning service to let them take care of the hard work for you, then it’s up to you to find out where to find time for cleaning and organizing.


Cleaning Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts


If you want to incorporate a 15-minute daily cleaning into your home, it’s important to be realistic and set priorities because you won’t be able to tackle down your entire house, and it’s not necessary to do so, at least not every day.

Besides setting priorities when it comes to the actual rooms you’re cleaning, you should also set goals for each room. Some elements inside a room should be cleaned every day (like making your bed) while some can last a few days without any issues.


Do Set a Small Schedule


Just like organizing, cleaning doesn’t have to involve endless hours in order to be productive or efficient. Unlike organizing, it can be more frequent inside your household, because there’s something that needs to be cleaned every day, even if it’s just the dishes or the kitchen counter.

Creating habits is a complex human process, and research has shown that there are techniques to achieve it. 

There is a lot of advice that applies to both organizing and cleaning and starting small is not the exception. If you have a traditional work/family schedule, your weekdays are probably busier or less flexible than your weekends.

Setting a timer by just 10 or 15 minutes a day can show you results fast, even if it’s small progress. Remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Great results usually show in the long run.

Besides this regular maintenance, you can either hire a cleaning service once or twice every month, or you can assign a day of the week (whether that is a weekday or a weekend it’s up to you) to deep clean on your own.


Do Adapt Your Cleaning Chores To Your Time


Now, if you’re planning to have different cleaning routines, this means that the rooms and tasks should be adaptable too. For example, loading dishes into the dishwasher should take you less than 2 minutes, whereas scrubbing the entire kitchen and pantry can easily take you one hour or longer.


Do Clean As You Go


This applies especially to your kitchen, but it can be practical to many other scenarios, such as doing laundry or just walking from one room to the other when you’re at home.

It can be common to find that your kitchen is a mess after preparing a great meal, and here’s why: while food is getting cooked, you can take a few minutes to place dishes in the dishwasher, or clean small kitchen utensils and silverware.


Do Clean in the Right Order


Another common mistake is to clean in the wrong order, getting surfaces dirty after they’ve been cleaned out and wasting time and energy. Before deciding on cleaning, think of the course of action you’re going to take. Start cleaning from top to bottom, following that same direction when wiping or scrubbing surfaces.

If you’re doing the kitchen, for example, start with the top cabinets, followed by countertops, bottom cabinets, and then the floors. This way, the floor is already going to be dirty by the time you finish and you can move on with sweeping, and mopping and/or washing your floors.


Don’t Clean With Dirty Tools


This mistake is more common than you think. People like to clean using dirty or smelly rags, brushes or sponges. Or maybe they do clean them constantly, but they leave them dirty and wet after finishing. This is dangerous because bacteria can grow if there are moisture and residues on the cloth or sponge.

In fact, this happens all the time with kitchen sponges and that is the reason why they have to be disposed of regularly. Make sure you clean them permanently as you go, and that you keep them dry and sanitized after you’ve finished by air-drying them.


Don’t Go Crazy With Cleaning Supplies


Cleaning can become overwhelming and expensive if you start filling your cleaning pantry with dozens of cleaning supplies. Search for multi-purpose cleaners, whether they are designed that way or by nature.

Vinegar is an extremely versatile cleaner, for example.

Baking soda and lemon juice are also popular as cleaning agents and are safer to use than artificial cleaning products. Eco-friendly companies offer all-purpose cleaners that are designed to be useful for cleaning countertops, wood, tile floors and so on.


Organizing Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts


Find the perfect place for each item. If your home is permanently unorganized with things out of place, it might be because you haven’t found the spot for each item to begin with. If you feel that you have a ton of stuff, perhaps they don’t belong at home in the first place.

Clutter is becoming more and more common, but so is clutter “awareness”. You might keep items that you haven’t looked at or used for years because they are/were functional or because they have sentimental value.

However, at this point in your life you might not enjoy them anymore, and its time that you find a better place for them.


Do Sort Stuff By Category


Sorting your items can be useful in order to feel less overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to sort everything by category instead of by room.

Let’s say you want to declutter your clothing. If you grab all of your garments in every room, you’ll have a better understanding of everything that you own at one sight. The same can apply for office supplies and documents and miscellaneous items. 


Don’t Start With Too Many Stuff to Clean and Organize


Cleaning and Organizing can be difficult or discouraging if there are too many things to start with. This can become an issue and increase the difficulty for your cleaning and/or organizing.

Organizing without decluttering is a common mistake if you haven’t decluttered in a while. A good rule of thumb, especially for households of one or two family members, is to ask yourself this question: Am I able to name all the things I own? If you miss more than half of your items, you might need to declutter to realize everything that you have.

An empty laundry basket or trash can is a great tool for both decluttering and organizing. Pick up an empty basket and collect things around your house that are either out of place or that you’re thinking about getting rid of them.


Don’t Feel Overwhelmed With Organizing


One of the common mistakes that comes with organizing is not knowing where to start and feeling overwhelmed right after you started. This can come from lack of planning, or from assigning the wrong amount of time to each room. Avoiding this will require trial and error.

You can start by assigning different “goals” for each room. For example, today can be the “decluttering the closet” day. The next day, everything related to paperwork and office supplies, and so on. Let’s say you will declutter your closet once every two months. The first time, set a timer and find out how long it takes you. Let’s say it took you 3 hours.

Next time, you’ll already know that it can take you 3 hours to organize your closet, probably less because you’re starting to declutter more often. Now you can set a timer for 2 and a half hours. Next time for two hours and so on. This can make it easier to find a balance to be fast enough yet give yourself plenty of time to finish your task.


Don’t Compare Yourself to Others


Another common mistake is to compare your work to others, especially influencers and social media users on the internet with cleaning and organizing advice. It can feel like a lot of pressure to meet those standards of people with already organized and beautiful homes, which makes it already more stunning and spotless.

If you feel like finding some guidance with cleaning or organizing social media experts it’s best to find someone relatable, that talks about the mistakes they make and how to fix them and improve, instead of being perfect all the time. Remember, the goal is to make your life easier and happier, not harder.


Conclusion


There you have it! This is a guide with useful do’s and don’ts that will help you finish your organizing and cleaning tasks in no time. Build the habit with small steps, increasing difficulty and time spent until it’s comfortable and efficient for you. You’ll improve your life quality by having a clean and tidy home as frequently as possible.

And if things get out of hand, don’t worry! Get back on track and prioritize your mental and physical health. However, as efficient as you can be, having to take care of an entire household can be challenging. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to forget about doing tedious cleaning tasks.

Deep Clean Your Couch and Bring it Back to Life

October 6, 2021 by emilysmaids

Deep Clean Your Couch and Bring it Back to Life


Deep cleaning your couch is one of those tasks always seem to be left behind until it’s too late. Your couch collects dust, dirt, and color can fade away slowly over time.

If you realize that your couch is in need of some serious cleaning, keep reading and give it a try!


Before Cleaning, Get to Know Your Couch


Knowing the material the couch is made of is key. Every type of surface reacts differently to its environment, such as temperature and humidity. For example, Dallas can get very humid depending on your area. This can affect your couch, especially if it’s made from organic materials such as wool and leather.

Also, keep in mind that not every material gets along with your cleaning products. Some products can get stains and water spots or decolor slightly. Make sure after buying a piece of furniture to write down every material it’s made of so you can treat your couch with care.

If your sofa is second-hand or if it’s been some time since you’ve bought it, there’s a possibility that you don’t know the specific type of fabric. If this is the case, check under your sofa, where cleaning codes can be found. These cleaning codes let you know which cleaning products will be safe to use, and which ones to avoid.

There are hundreds of possibilities for fabrics: materials, colors, textures, additional treatments, etc. Let’s go over the most common types of fabric and read the do’s and don’ts about each one to make them look brand new.

Brown Leather Couch


Cotton


Cotton is one of the most popular and cheaper fabrics, at least in the natural fiber category. It is very resistant to wear, moisture, and fading.

If it’s 100% cotton, it’s hypoallergenic. However, if it’s combined with other fibers, it can increase resistance and durability.


Cleaning Your Cotton Couch


Start by smacking your cushions to remove dust and debris. Do it outside if possible!

A vacuum cleaner will be your number one ally here. Start by vacuuming using the upholstery attachment. Don’t forget the cushions as well. Vacuuming will help you detect stains that you will need to remove later.

By now, your couch will probably look cleaner, but it may have some stains you need to take care of. Just add a 1:1 part mix of baking soda and water and apply with a brush or toothbrush, rubbing in a circular motion.

If your want to deodorize your couch, you can coat it entirely with a fine coat of baking soda (with no water).

Let sit for 15 minutes and then wipe with a microfiber cloth or with your vacuum cleaner.

Dry with a soft towel, and let it air dry overnight.


Linen


Linen is affordable, airy and “breathable” so you won’t have trouble with it during summer. On the other hand, it’s not meant for everyday use because it wrinkles and stains easily.

If you have kids or pets you shouldn’t consider linen as an option.


Cleaning Your Linen Couch


For removing a few stains from your linen couch, add two or three drops of neutral soap to lukewarm water. Dab gently using a wet cloth. Make sure you remove soap with warm water and then a dry cloth at the end. Don’t rub or scrub too hard because it can worsen your stain.

Most linen covers can be machine washed or dry cleaned. Make sure to check the instructions before attempting any of this.     


Leather


Leather is a great material because it has a lot of personality on its own.

This is a very durable and low-maintenance option but, just like every other organic material, leather can be very sensitive. It requires certain temperature and humidity levels to stay “healthy”. If the moisture level is too high, it becomes greasy and unpleasant to touch, as well as more prone to bacteria and fungi.

If it’s too low, it can start to show cracks and wrinkles which, besides not looking good, it also indicates that the leather is losing resistance and can lead to permanent cracks.

It can also be damaged because of sharp objects, such as metal edges or a pet’s claws.


Cleaning Your Leather Couch


Vacuuming with a soft brush attachment is enough for regular maintenance. Saddle soap is essential to take care of leather the same way you need moisturizer for your skin. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though. Once every 6 months is a good rule of thumb.

Make sure you know the type of leather you’re working with, whether it’s protected or unprotected. Most leather furniture is made with protected or finished leather. Unprotected or aniline leather is softer and more premium, but also more sensitive to stains.

Treat your stains as soon as possible because the more you let them without treatment, the harder it will be to remove them later. Although DIY solutions are almost always a great idea, organic materials such as leather and wood don’t always get along with them. In this case, it’s best to buy specialized cleaning agents.

Make sure to avoid chlorine or cleaning products that contain it because it might leave stains. Don’t use rubbing alcohol when cleaning leather, either. Rubbing alcohol will cause leather to crack and lose its natural healthy moisture.

On the other hand, wet cleaning should be avoided too. Natural fiber fabrics retain too much water, and it will be difficult to dry once it’s been absorbed.

Black Leather Couch


Nylon


Nylon is one of the strongest upholstery fabrics on the market. It’s a synthetic fabric resistant to stains, tears, stretching, shrinking, wrinkling, you name it. However, it does attract a lot of pet hair.


Cleaning Your Nylon Couch


In this case, if you have pets, you’ll want to get yourself a pet vacuum cleaner. There are vacuum cleaners that are designed specifically for cleaning pet hair, dander, and other residues.

Rubbing alcohol can work for removing stains. Just apply rubbing alcohol using a spray bottle, then scrub with a microfiber towel until it’s gone.

Gray Couch With Green Throw Pillows


Olefin or Polypropylene


It’s a durable and cleanable material. It is also stain-resistant. It can fade when exposed to sunlight, though olefin usually goes under a UV treatment to prevent that.

Because of that, it can be quite common to find olefin furniture for outdoors. It is also washable, but you shouldn’t use hot water because it’s heat sensitive.


Cleaning Your Olefin Couch


Olefin fabric is easy to clean, for the most part. It does have a hard time getting rid of oil or grease-based stains. For regular cleaning, you can mix one tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent and four cups of water.

Use a clean sponge and soak it on your cleaning mix, then squeeze until it’s only slightly damp. Remember, you don’t want any excess liquid to be absorbed by your couch, no matter the material.

Gray Couch With Throw Pillows


Wool


Wool is a natural fiber that comes from sheep (mostly). It’s popular as a material for carpet floors and it’s also a common choice for sofas. Just like most materials from organic/natural sources, it’s known for its durability.

In fact, wool is used as a material for protecting mattresses because it’s resistant to fire, mildew and bugs. However, it also comes with a downside: it needs to be dry cleaned in order not to shrink or lose color.


Cleaning Your Wool Couch


Same as leather, vacuuming regularly is the best technique for keeping your couch clean and healthy. Remember to use an upholstery attachment to protect your surface.

If you want to clean any spills or stains, you should damp a piece of cloth in either water or solvent -depending on what the care tag allows you to- and gently blot on the surface.

You don’t want to scrub because that will just spread the problem everywhere. Remember to dry with a clean cloth and let it air dry afterward.

Gray Couch With Pillows and Plants


Couch Cleaning Basics


Make sure to check that your couch has a care tag that identifies the methods and products that are safe to use for cleaning it. A “W” means that you can clean it using water. An “S” means you can only use a solvent-based cleaner. “SW” means you can use either. “X” means that you should only use a vacuum for your couch.

Avoid products such as ammonia, baby wipes, or dishwasher. They can contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to your couch, causing anything from yellowing to total color fading.

White vinegar is an amazing stain remover, and it works for most types of upholstery. Always try your cleaning solution in a small, non-visible area in the back of your couch. If you know the specific material your couch is made of, do some research and see how it behaves with any chemical you’re thinking of using on your couch.

An easy, all-purpose cleaning agent can be created by mixing four cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of neutral dish soap. Remember, check your specific fabric first to see what chemicals are safe for use, and always test on an inconspicuous spot.

Read more: How to Clean Using Vinegar

White Couch and Plants


Don’t Forget Cleaning Your Couch Frame


Since we’re talking about deep cleaning here, you can’t forget about your couch frame. They are usually made of two distinctive materials: wood or metal.

For metal frames, you can use a nylon brush. They’re very easy to clean because you will only need warm, soapy water. You can create that by mixing two cups of water and half a teaspoon of neutral dish soap. Scrub your surface and then remove it using cold water. Finish by drying everything with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. You might need to wipe the surface several times until everything is free of liquids and soap.

This is a DIY cleaning mix, although the ideal product to buy is a Metal Cleaner. Remember to make sure that nothing remains damp because this can create rusting in the future.

For wood frames, they’re not only going to need a good cleaning, but they also need to be moisturized every once in a while if you want them to look nice and shiny. Vacuuming is a good option for wood because it doesn’t involve water, and it can be done at the same time as the rest of your couch.

Depending on the type of wood, you might want to apply oil, conditioner, or furniture polish every couple of months. Natural furniture polish can be created using half a cup of olive oil, half a cup of cooking vinegar and the juice of a lemon.

These three ingredients combine stain-removing, sanitizing and disinfecting properties, (besides a great fragrance afterward!). Mix everything and apply with a clean cloth, wiping away any excess with a different, dry microfiber cloth.

Woman Sitting and Reading On a White Couch


Couch Cleaning Bonus Tips


A darker couch will need higher maintenance. However, stains will be more visible on a light couch.

If you have several kids and/or pets, maybe a couch cover could work for you. They’re usually made of microfiber or polyester/spandex, are machine washable, can adapt to different sofa sizes, and will protect most of the surface of your couch (if not the entire surface) against stains or spills.

That being said, depending on the type of cover they might not be strong enough for protection against sharp objects.


Conclusion


Time to deep clean your couch! Make sure to test first whatever technique or product you use before going in. Your couch could be made out of hundreds of possible fabrics, so make sure that you know the type of material before attempting to clean anything.

Remember you can always hire a cleaning service if you want a professional, deep clean on your couch and your entire home!

Hopefully these tips will convince you to give your couch and armchairs a nice deep clean!

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